August 09, 2012: Book Lovers Day, Polka Day, Rice Pudding Day, Olympic Gold

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
August 9, 2012

Sunrise in the field

★~ Today’s Quote: By Thursday morning, we’d gotten over the worst of it. ~ William Scranton

★~ National Book Lovers Day:

Cousin Abby and her friend Kelly flew into town yesterday from Florida to attend LeakyCon, which is an event for Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling fans. Abby grew up reading Harry Potter, and, in fact, the books inspired her to pursue writing and journalism as a college major. As we discussed the books, I remembered back to the summer of 1997, when I noticed a blurb for the first Harry Potter book in our local parenting newspaper panning the book as “rubbish.” However, I was intrigued and bought and read the first book and had a feeling it was going to be big. I was right. It wasn’t long after that Harry Potter went “viral” and a whole generation of children learned to enjoy reading again. Ironically, I found out about the first book, read it and fell in love with it while I was still reading Goodnight Moon and Pat the Bunny to Cole. Joe read the Harry Potter book to Cole years later. It will be fun hearing about the LeakyCon Potter event, which hosts everything from authors and reading groups to concerts.

These days I find myself reading Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb and defending 50 Shades of Grey against women who inform the world it’s “not well written.” Really? Have you noticed how many women gather around to agree it’s “not well written.”

What books are you lovin’ these days?

★~ National Polka Day:

Some may be inclined to poke fun at the polka, but don’t knock it till you try it. Grab the accordion and put on those dancin’ shoes –

The polka is a snappy dance that originated in Bohemia in the 1800s. Some believe a peasant girl named Anna Slezak actually “invented” the dance in 1834. The dance quickly spread to ballrooms around the world and the rest, as they say, is history. Did you know that the official dance of Wisconsin?

So let’s crank up the tunes, roll out the barrel, and party down polka style. Click:  fascinating polka facts.

★~Rice Pudding:

Rice Pudding

Almost every region of the world has its own take on rice pudding. Some versions are sweet while others are savory, and some are thick while others are thin. In the United States, most people serve their rice pudding sweetened with a sprinkle of nutmeg and raisins. Rice pudding recipe from Happy Herbivore 

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1944 – Smokey Bear, an advertising character by the U.S. Forest Service and the Wartime Advertising Council, made his debut on a poster promoting forest-fire prevention. Remember, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

♥~ 1975 – Superdome: New Orleans, Louisiana was celebrating– and it wasn’t even Mardi Gras time. The Superdome was opened as the hometown Saints met the Houston Oilers in an exhibition football game. The Oilers won handily, 31-7, in what was described as “a very lackluster” game. The Superdome cost $163 million to construct .

♥~ 1991- During a barnyard scene in Indiana, director Penny Marshall temporarily halted filming the movie A League of Their Own when a cow went into labor.

♥~ 1999 – 14-year-old Ryan Tripp of Beaver, Utah, finished mowing the lawn at the Hawaii state Capitol and announced his retirement. He had mowed the lawns at all 50 state capitols, except Alaska where the capitol had no lawn, so he mowed at the governor’s house.

♥ ~ 2005 – NY radio station WQHT Hot 97 was fined a whopping $240,000 (£134,480) for running an on-air contest where young women were encouraged to slap each other silly to win cash and other prizes. The money went to a domestic awareness charity.

★~Born Today:

♥ – Happy Birthday El Morno friend Teresa Newell!

♥~ 1593 – Isaac (Isaak) Walton author: The Compleat Angler; died Dec 15, 1683; A long, long time ago — several centuries, to be exact — Isaac Walton (often spelled Isaak Walton) was born in Stafford, England. It was 1593 and his parents had no idea that they were going to raise a fishing expert, and a knighted one, at that.

When Isaac was growing up he spent a lot of time studying the art of fishing. By the time he was seventy years old, he had written the masterwork on angling, titled, The Compleat Angler. Sir Isaac Walton was pretty clear about the fact that no matter how many years you’ve spent fishing, you’ll never quite get it right, even if you read his book. He said, “Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics, that it can never be fully learned.” Gone fishing.

♥~ 1944 – Sam Elliott actor: Gettysburg, Lonesome Dove, Mask, Tombstone, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, TVs Mission Impossible

♥~ 1957 – Melanie Griffith actress: Working Girl, Night Moves, Smile, A Stranger Among Us, Born Yesterday, Mulholland Falls, Lolita [1997], Crazy in Alabama; actress Tippi Hedren’s daughter

★~ Did You Know:

Going for (1 percent) gold: For this year’s London Games, the gold medals are roughly 93 percent silver, 6 percent copper and 1 percent gold (currently about $300 worth of gold). The silver medals are 92 percent silver and 8 percent copper. The bronze medals are 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent tin.

The medals have a value beyond the worth of their precious metal content, though. They’re pieces of history, and can command high asking prices on the market. A gold medal from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” American hockey team was auctioned for over $300,000 a few years ago, and a bronze medal from the 1972 Munich Games recently sold for just shy of $3,000.

A story from ancient Greece—back when athletes received only a humble olive branch—says a lot about what these prizes mean. In The Histories, Herodotus writes about a group of Arcadian deserters who went to the Persians looking for work. The Persians asked them what the Greeks were up to, and the Arcadians explained that their countrymen were “holding the Olympic festival and viewing sports and horse races.” The Persians asked what prizes were offered to the competitors, and the Arcadians explained that the victors received a “crown of olive.”

“Then Tigranes, son of Artabanus [a Persian regent], uttered a most noble saying,” writes Herodotus. “When he heard that the prize was not money but a crown, he could not hold his peace, but cried, ‘Good heavens, Mardonius [a Persian military commander], what kind of men are these that you have pitted us against? It is not for money they contend but for glory of achievement!’”


My status on Facebook sums up my life the last couple of days:

“Cole, Ryan and I will pick the Cousin Abigail and Kelly up at O’Hare at 1:30 p.m. and then swing by the house so Cole can grab his car, follow us and then leave it parked by the train. Cole will then transfer back to my car and we will continue downtown together. The girls can see where LeakyCon is being held, and then I will drop the kids off at the Water Taxi so they can head to Chinatown (Ryan’s choice for his last day in Chicago). I will then drive to Chinatown and meet them for a late lunch. The girls and Cole will then catch the train back to Cole’s car and head home, and I will carry on to the Midway Airport so Ryan can catch his 7:30 p.m. flight.”

I’m taking it easy today. This mama is tired but glad to know “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was” (Toby Keith).

10 thoughts on “August 09, 2012: Book Lovers Day, Polka Day, Rice Pudding Day, Olympic Gold

  1. Mike

    Not a fan of Rice pudding but i did enjoy the Harry Potter movies with my kids. I started wondering about the value of the gold medals when the announcer kept talking about the tax US winners will pay on them.

    Even tho it was a short week I’m glad it’s almost over.

    • I guess there is a big difference between the actually value of the medals and resale value which is quite a bit higher. I kind of like the olive branch idea.

  2. I’m enjoying the Potter books all over again with my kids. Reading them before and after motherhood has been interesting. No porridge for for me, please.
    My grandparents love to polka. It is such funny watching them.

    • Our in-resident Harry Potter expert say’s that each time she reads the books (going on 5 times each) she picks up something new. I read them once and when Joe read them to Cole it was the first time for both of them.

  3. My parents use to belong to a polka club they even paid a guy to play the accordion for them. I’m glad they enjoyed it but I never caught on to the dances and was always two steps behind.
    Love rice pudding in the morning! You all don’t know what you are missing!
    The Olympic info is terrific. Like Mike I wondered about their value after the announcers said American Olympic winners had to pay tax on them. I guess Obama plans to change that–I hope so.

    • I am pretty sure of what I’m missing but won’t begrudge you rice pudding happiness. I don’t think the Olympic winners should have to pay tax on their medals.
      How cool that your parents liked to polka!

  4. I just finished reading Bossy Pants–Tina Fey (thanks for the suggestion) and it was great. Other than that I’m faced a book drought this summer. I would love some suggestions.
    The Olympics have been a real family event for us and I share some of your stories most nights. I’ll be sad when they blow out the torch on Sunday!

  5. Love to Polka..and I play the accordian. My Swedish heritage, I guess. My class of line dancers like to polka too and always ask to do one. I prefer Tapioca pudding to the rice, but my mom use to make the best rice pudding and it was requested for picnics and potlucks. I just started reading “Maid for Love” by Marie Force on my Ipad Kindle. So far so good. I also heard that “Unbroken” by Laura Hillonbrand is very good. Just sayin’.

    • I will have to check out both books. I love the free “samples” on both the Kindle/I-pad. Do you have a pet monkey or do your borrow one when you play the accordion and can it dance the polka? How was the fair?

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